Our recent drought in Spain is about to end spectacularly and Cruella (my wife) is claiming the credit. She said she could no longer stand my being depressed about the lack of rain and to cheer me up she has summoned a storm. She spent most of last night on the roof holding on to the TV aerial dancing around, waving her arms about and chanting incantations. I had to go up and get her down as the police came around and said they had reports of an old lady pole dancing on my roof-they wanted to know if I had a license for dancing.
11th September: Things I have been doing lately.
🌨 Water Management: As the storm arrives you need to capture as much water as possible – get water butts, put out buckets, use old dustbins; anything so long as you capture the precious water. Even the smallest garden needs water so there is no excuse, especially in Spain where we have prolonged droughts. You will need this water throughout the year and it’s free so you cut down your water bill. The first photo below shows my compost bin lids raised ready to capture water to soak the compost. The second photo shows my large water tank surrounded by large dustbins into which I siphon water off. The last photo shows one of my extra large Ali Baba water butts.
🥀 Feed your Roses. Now is the time to give your Roses their last feed of the Summer. From my perspective it has not been “a good year for the Roses” no matter what Elvia Costello says. The drought has left them desiccated and therefore open to everything from Aphids to Rust. But never mind there is always next year. By feeding them now you will set them up to be ready for Winter pruning and next years growth. There are lots of Rose feeds so take your choice, but don’t buy cheap ones as they won’t really work. The photo below show the one I am using at the moment.
🥅 Take nets off Figs. Assuming you have netted your Figs then they are probably now at an end and you have enjoyed a Summer of delicious Figs. If not then just pick off all the half pecked Figs that the birds have destroyed (I told you what would happen and you only have yourself to blame). Anyway, cut the nets off now, don’t try and save them for next year, it is not worth it as they will have holes in them somewhere.
If you have an espalier Fig as I have then begin the process of tying in this year’s growth. You will complete the tying in later when you prune. The first photo below shows my espalier Fig with its netting. The second photo shows a branch with a tie.
🌱 Cut off citrus suckers. By now all your citrus trees should have their new fruit growing strongly. To ensure that all the goodness goes into the fruit and not into unproductive new growth, you have to cut off stem and trunk suckers. Suckers will be especially prevalent in old trees and can be seen as upward growing very bright green soft shoots. Just take them off by gently pulling down on them. The photo below shows one of my trees with the suckers marked and ready to be pulled off.
🌾 Cut off Yucca flower spikes. It has been a good year for Yucca flower spikes, so I hope you have enjoyed them. As the spikes die back cut them off so that the the plant does not go on to produce seed. This will be an ongoing task for the next few weeks as the spikes will come at different times. You can just leave them till they have all flowered, but this looks untidy and distracts from the lovely fresh quality of the new white flower spikes. The photos below show some of my Yuccas at various stages of flowering.